Suicide Door #1

She is like a peach in that you don't know just how sweet she is until you cut her open.

Christmas is ruined, we are already planning on a different holiday next year, the last two cursed beyond repair. The prior noel, we just got through opening presents, exhausted from the night before, grandpa lay dying, and got the call that he had died. So we showered and dressed for a long day's wake, and honestly, none of us really can recall how it all went.

This year, even before we opened the first present, our sweet little Boston Terrier, scratched on her eye the week before, screamed and bled all over the Christmas tree skirt. We gathered her up, her ruined cornea split and irreparable, found an emergency pet hospital and left, everyone traumatized.

God keep veterinary staff on a holiday morning, there are few places more forlorn in a first-world society. We were bumped out of line by a crying girl and her mom, holding onto their dying dachshund, wrapped in whatever old towel you might recycle for car wash duty or to be rewoven into a crafty bath mat. We bind our pets in throwaway linens, and I am certain this is what they would prefer.

The next dog come in with a broken leg, unleashed, and the real tragedy was the disinterest of the man who brought her in.

I killed him. I can't help think that I killed him.

You didn't kill him, if anyone it was me. You were asleep when the hospice nurse told me. The cancer killed him. 

I was just about to leave for a walk, god I was so exhausted from the last 24 hours. I hadn't had the guts to come into the clinic room with my wife. But they called me in anyway, and she was crying, and said that her eye would be lost and we could come back the next day and pick her up.

Well, at least it wasn't our worst Christmas. Remember when Travis shot himself on Christmas?

We are getting rid of the cat.

Alex has such a spot in her heart for abandoned pets and people. A few days before we had dinner at the assisted living facility where my step-grandmother resides. The lobby was adorned with flowers and gingerbread houses, and the dining room was half occupied. On the way back to her room, she asked if we wanted to watch the evening movie, and we joined a small group of residents for a viewing of a Charlie Brown Christmas, and it was lovely and funny and bitterly sentimental. In her room she showed us the letter she wrote herself the day after she received her marriage proposal, in 1954, the ink and parchment so well preserved that I am beginning to suspect we have cut costs somewhere in the production of stationary goods over the decades.

She brought out some old photos, including one of the car that her father had to abandon in Germany before they fled to Wenatchee, and wished that she knew the make. I have been sleuthing ever since, and it seems Ford had a plant in Germany that produced a car called the Eifel. One L.

It's an unusual car, in that it has suicide doors, which aren't generally produced since they would be awfully hard to close in the wind of highway speed should they come open. I had just heard a radio story about suicide doors the day before, of all coincidences. Lincoln wants to bring em back for the Continental.

We are not getting rid of the cat, who was sort of a consolation gift to me, having left my dream job recently. The president who hired me was fired, his Time's Up. His replacement immediately starting humiliating and degrading staff, and I knew it was only a matter of time before I opened my mouth and cussed her out, so I did the honorable thing.

In passing, I had said that I liked Scottish Folds and Maine Coons and Ragdolls, and she found one, not knowing that they are a product of vanity breeding, prone to illness and ailment, much like our sweet little Boston, and outlawed in some places. I hadn't done my research before stopping her. This will be the most expensive celebration of Jesus in quite some time. But she is a little, darling soul, and sits in my lap as I write, and we will do our best to protect the odd number of eyes still left in our house.

We went out for dinner, and his sister asked me what my first memory was. I glanced at my mother and  made something up, a harmless, bland recollection. The honorable thing. I told Alex what the real first memories were later. He was a hitter, but I think everyone was back then. Second chances and all that.

Did you know that a one-eyed dog is just as happy as a two-eyed dog? Maybe happier, all the extra love she's getting.


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